August 18, 2020
Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, MP
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
Honorable Steven Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury
U.S. Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20220
Honorable Michael Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
Rt Hon Dominic Raab, MP
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
King Charles St, Whitehall, Westminster London SW1A 2AH
Dear Minister Champagne, Secretary Mnuchin, Secretary Pompeo, and Foreign Secretary Raab,
We, the 71 undersigned organizations dedicated to the promotion of universal human rights and/or the fight against corruption, welcome the United Kingdom’s successful promulgation of its Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations and initial tranche of 49 sanctions designations, as well as the United States’ recent actions under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program to designate senior Chinese leaders and entities responsible for egregious human rights violations in Xinjiang, China against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
We write you in the context of these developments to urge greater coordination between your governments as one critical element in your broader strategies to promote respect for human rights and fight corruption globally, and to request that the British and Canadian governments use their respective targeted human rights sanctions programs to mirror recent actions undertaken by the U.S. government.
The U.S. government’s recent sanctions designations of Xinjiang Chinese Communist Party (CCP) secretary Chen Quanguo, other senior CCP officials, the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau (XPSB), and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) reflect actions long called for by the Uyghur activist community and many human rights organizations. These designations mark a significant step forward in terms of holding accountable the perpetrators of atrocities against the Uyghurs and other Chinese minority groups in Xinjiang.
We note, however, that the impact and perceived legitimacy of such sanctions will be bolstered if coordinated and implemented in conjunction with the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada. Multilateralizing targeted human rights and anti-corruption sanctions should remain a key priority of each of your governments, and will have the manifest impact of expanding the reach of travel restrictions and asset freezes. This, in turn, will increase the costs for each sanctioned individual and entity to continue committing human rights abuses or acts of corruption, in Xinjiang or elsewhere, and serve as a more effective deterrent.
In this instance, we urge the U.S. government to share the information it has used to inform its Xinjiang-related Global Magnitsky designations with counterparts in Canada and the United Kingdom. Likewise, we urge the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom to act upon such information by announcing their own targeted sanctions against the listed perpetrators under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act and the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations, respectively.
More broadly, we encourage each of your ministries to formalize and routinize information-sharing concerning targeted sanctions relating to human rights abuses and corruption. By collaborating across borders, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom can make it much harder for perpetrators to evade sanctions enforcement.
Globalizing and harmonizing “Magnitsky-like” targeted sanctions programs represents a significant step towards ending impunity for many of the world’s worst crimes. We applaud each of your governments for the steps you are taking in this direction, and urge further integration as you move forward in this important work.